The Simonside Hills are a fabulous place for walkers with miles of footpaths taking you through woodland and moorland to wonderful viewpoints. You'll pass interesting rock formations, rocky outcrops and acres of forest as you make your way through this wildly beautiful area of the Northumberland National Park.
This circular walk starts at the parking area in Rothbury Forest and climbs to the 430m high Simonside Hill. From here there are wonderful views of the Cheviots, the River Coquet, Cragside Country Park and the Northumbrian coastline. You descend towards Harwood Forest before picking up the St Oswald's Way to return you to the car park.
It's easy to continue your walking in the area by heading to the wonderful Cragside Country Park which is located just a few miles away. You could also continue along the St Oswald's Way deeper into Harwood Forest.
You can also reach the hills from Rothbury town on our Rothbury Circular Walk. This includes lovely trails through Coquetdale and a visit to the interesting archaeological sites on Garleigh Moor above the town.
Simonside Hills Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Simonside Hills Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Simonside Hills OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Simonside Hills Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Head a mile or so north of the hills and you'll come to the little village of Thropton. Here you'll find the excellent Three Wheat Heads Inn. The main advantage here is a wonderful large beer garden with wide ranging views of the surrounding countryside and hills. If the weather is fine it's the ideal spot to relax outside and enjoy a drink. The pub also has an interesting history, dating all the way back to the 18th century. They are dog friendly and do great food in the bar and the restaurant area. You can find the inn on Front Street at postcode NE65 7LR.
A couple of miles east of the hills you'll find the remotely located The Gate at Forestburn Gate. The inn has a lovely cosy real fire and a beer garden for warmer days. You can find the pub on the B6342 road at a postcode of NE61 4PS for your sat navs. The pretty Fontburn Reservoir is nearby so you could nip down to the tranquil spot and enjoy a stroll along the water if you have time.
The hills and surrounding woodland are ideal for a dog walk. The Three Wheat Heads in Thropton also welcomes pets.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Head a few miles north west from the hills and you can pick up the circular Alwinton Walk. The route starts in the nearby little village and visits the River Alwin, River Coquet, the ruins of Harbottle Castle, West Wood and the excellent viewpoint at the Drake Stone. There's also a 12th century Norman church and a couple of classic old village pubs to visit in the area. From the village car park you can also pick up the circular Usway Burn - River Coquet - Upper Coquetdale Walk.
The delightful villages of Elsdon and Otterburn are well worthy of a visit. The former includes an ancient church, a large village green, the remains of the old motte and bailey castle and a noteworthy Pele tower. The latter has nice trails along the pretty Otter Burn and the historic Otterburn Hall with its fine architecture and deer park.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Northumberland Walks and the Northumberland National Park Walks pages.